If you`ve been keeping pace with our weekly industry roundups over 2018, then this is no longer news to you. Despite the incredible technological advances (blockchain, delivery by drones, anyone?), industry players’ constant moves to break boundaries, comply with regulations, defy competition and gain more reach, there are still huge leaps and bounds for the payments and eCommerce world to take, some of which it’s tentatively started dipping its toes into recently.
We’re talking automation and personalisation but, more than that, the future of industry revolves around shopper experiences rather than one-time purchases, as consumers want to create connections with the brands they love best.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s set to get hotter in the next year.
1 Cognitive Commerce
You’ve probably heard of artificial intelligence; you might even know of some scenarios where eCommerce giants are integrating its futuristic powers. Amazon Go might be the first example that comes to mind. But does cognitive commerce (sometimes known as cognitive computing) ring a bell?
The key difference is that cognitive commerce unites a human and a machine, giving humanity a chance to collaborate with technology to create even more powerful experiences. Cognitive commerce is more than just personalisation; it goes one step further and allows digital sellers to optimize their processes using unique touchpoints that are original to each and every customer. Today, eCommerce has been predominantly affected by a few key cognitive pursuits. To give some examples, the term refers to:
- Being able to predict future demand for a specific product
- Generating the right product recommendations for upsells
- Optimising prices according to competitors and customer behaviour
- Analysing spending trends and shopper history to fuel consumer journeys
Cognitive technologies are more intuitive than simple personalisation techniques and, because they have the coveted ability to gather richer customer data, 94% of retail executives already plan to invest in them in the not-too-distant future.
2 Go Globally, but Consolidate Locally
Despite the new landscape of the world in the digitally-connected age, global eCommerce is still in its very early infancy. Every country has its own unique sets of restraints and regulations to work around – take Nigeria, for example, where there is a huge demand for US products, but it’s a risky order to fulfill because of local rules.
Roadblocks like this have stopped eCommerce stores from venturing too far, but now that digital products are becoming bigger and bigger, it’s easier than ever to monopolise new and emerging markets all over the world.
Online sellers are starting to realising the mammoth amount of opportunities out there and are conjuring up creative ways to work around regulations. And, as digital products become an increasingly larger part of the eCommerce world, the amount of businesses that operate on a global scale will drastically increase, making localised rules and regulations easier to contend with.
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3 The Mobile-focused Generation
“Mobile is everything!” Such statements convey the importance of mobile-friendly eCommerce stores in the current shopping landscape. But in the future, it’ll be more than simply having a website that scales appropriately depending on the device it’s being used on.
Surprisingly enough, retailers are still struggling to figure out the relatively new arena of mobile shopping. However, with the need to diversify across channels, and with the knowledge that the majority of consumers spend a huge portion of their day on their mobiles, it’s increasingly vital that online sellers focus on mobile experiences within their stores.
4 The Rise of the Micro-Moment
Consumers are more skeptical of marketing than ever before and one-size-fits-all campaigns are no longer the “right thing to do” as people look for more personal shopping experiences. This is why they prefer to live the micro-moment, which includes:
- Decisions made quickly while purchasing
- Upsells that come at just the right time
- A need to try out new things in relatively routine moments
Instead of running out the same, static campaign to every single potential customer, micro-moments help consumers pick and choose their own journey. Each of these “moments” is determined by the previous one, and they work like building blocks to create a complete customer journey that’s personalised to each consumer’s actions.
5 The Future is Already Here
This is a marker for what’s to come, and we can expect things to snowball even faster than they have in the past two decades thanks to the abundance of new tech that’s emerging every day. Brands that want to stay ahead of the game should get on board now or risk being left behind as a new wave of Amazons come from nowhere and take over the eCommerce landscape.